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10 Lessons from the Life of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab (RA)

Omar Ibn Al-Khattab: Life Lessons

1. A Dramatic Conversion

Omar Ibn Al-Khattab (RA) underwent a remarkable transformation, from openly persecuting Muslims and planning to kill the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to converting to Islam. This answered the Prophet’s (PBUH) dua:
“O Allah! Give Islam strength through one of the men you love more: Omar ibn al-Khattab or Amr ibn al-Hisham (Abu Jahl)” (Tirmidhi).

2. Physical and Intellectual Strength

Known for his physical prowess, Omar (RA) was skilled in martial arts, wrestling, and horse-riding. Despite literacy being uncommon in pre-Islamic Arabia, Omar (RA) could read and write and was a gifted orator.

3. Bold Hijrah

Omar (RA) was one of the few followers of Muhammad (PBUH) to openly migrate to Madinah, while most others left under cover of night to avoid persecution from Quraish.

4. Close Companion of the Prophet

He became a close companion of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and a central figure in his life and seerah. The Prophet (PBUH) held Omar (RA) in high esteem, saying:
“If there were to be a Prophet after me, it would be Omar Ibn al-Khattab” (al-Hakim).

5. Dedication to the Prophet

Omar’s (RA) extreme dedication to the Prophet (PBUH) was evident when he initially refused to believe the news of his death. Abu Bakr (RA) had to recite from the Quran to convince him:
“Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]?” (Quran 3:144).

6. Supporting Abu Bakr

Omar (RA) supported Abu Bakr (RA) in establishing the Caliphate, becoming the first Caliph after the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

7. Second Caliph and Architect of the Muslim State

Upon Abu Bakr’s (RA) death, Omar (RA) became the second Caliph. He developed a sophisticated and efficient administration that governed the sprawling Muslim empire.

8. Expansion of the Caliphate

Under Omar (RA), the Caliphate became a world power, with conquests over the Byzantine and Persian empires. The Caliphate expanded to include modern-day Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, and parts of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan.

Learn about the life of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab (RA), the second Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, and his contributions to Islamic history.

9. Assassination and Legacy

In 644, Omar (RA) was assassinated by a Persian slave named Abu Lulu (Piruz Nahavandi) while leading Fajr prayers in the Prophet’s Mosque. As he lay dying, he called on a committee of six to choose a Caliph from among them by consulting the people, including women and slaves.

10. Final Resting Place

Omar (RA) is buried next to Abu Bakr (RA) and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.

Taraweeh Prayers and Founding the Muslim State

Omar (RA) is known as the founder of Taraweeh prayers. Although the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) discontinued the practice of praying Taraweeh in congregation every night of Ramadan to avoid making it compulsory, Omar (RA) restarted and organized these prayers in congregation.

As the Caliph, Omar (RA) is called the architect of the first true Muslim state. He divided the state into provinces and districts, creating a structured and efficient governance system. Some of the Islamic institutions he established include:

  • The office of the judge or qadi, earning the nickname ‘al-Farooq’ for his just nature.
  • The Islamic Hijri calendar.
  • The first welfare state, Bayt al-Mal, to care for the poor and weak, while he lived in a simple mud hut.
  • The public ministry system to keep records of officials and soldiers.
  • The first police forces to maintain civil order.
  • Anti-corruption measures, forbidding governors from engaging in business while in power and refusing to appoint relatives to positions of power.

Reaction to the TV Series “Omar”

The TV series “Omar,” which cost over US$53 million to produce, has received international acclaim. It premiered in the UK on Islam Channel during Eid al-Fitr in 2021. When first aired in Ramadan 2012, it became one of the most-watched TV shows in the Middle East.

Despite some differences of opinion regarding the portrayal of Islamic sahabas on TV, the general consensus among scholars is positive, given the series’ reliance on reliable historical facts. Many Muslim scholars have supported the series for its high production value, contribution to Islamic media, and its impact on Muslims worldwide.

Watch all episodes of the drama “Omar” on Here!

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